A woman in San Francisco has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the liquid contact indicators (LCI) – that void the warranties of iPhones when activated – are faulty and makes the promised warranty fraudulent.
In a class action suit, Charlene Gallion claims that the company refused to properly honor the warranty on her iPhone. After having the Apple phone for six months, Gallion took it back to the Apple Store and complained that the phone was defective. The Apple employees opened the phone and claimed that the LCI had activated, which indicated that the phone had been in contact with significant amounts of water, thus voiding the one year warranty that covers normal wear and tear. Gallion accepted the offer of a discounted new iPhone, but disputes that the phone was ever subjected to any undue amounts of water.
Six months, later the replacement iPhone also malfunctioned. Gallion returned the phone to the Apple store who again said that the LCI had activated and the warranty was void. Again, they offered her a discounted replacement, which she accepted, having no way to dispute the LCI. After looking around and speaking with other iPhone owners that had experienced the same issues, she contacted a lawyer and began to contact others that would join the class action suit.
When the LCI is activated, it signifies that the phone has been either submerged, or a large amount of water has been spilled on it. Apple claims that environmental factors are not enough to set off the LCI. Gallion contends in the lawsuit that environmental factors such as humidity, cold, and even the sweat from your palm can activate it, and that Apple knows this and does nothing to fix it.
The suit charges fraud and unfair business practices, and asks Apple to honor the warranty it issued. The suit also seeks punitive damages.